GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Bolton Abbey Walk

7 miles (11.5 km)

Explore the huge estate surrounding the ruins of this 12th-century Augustinianmonastery. There are miles of riverside walking trails to follow with the River Wharfe running through the estate. The paths take you to the Strid - here theRiver Wharfe becomes very narrow causing the water to rush with great force at this point. There are also colour coded nature trails taking you through ancient woodland and bluebells in spring.
The fascinating ruins of the 12th century priory are also worth exploring. Nearby are stepping stones across the river which are always popular.
If you are interested in a more challenging walk then you could try the hike to Simon's Seat which starts from the abbey car park. It's a splendid walk taking you across the woodland and heathland of the Valley of Desolation with rushing becks and pretty waterfalls to enjoy on the way. From the peak of the hill there are wonderful views across the Yorkshire Dales to enjoy.
The Dales Way also runs through Bolton Abbey so you could continue along this path. Heading north will take you along the river to the popular village of Burnsall. Follow it south and you will soon come to Addingham and Ilkley. You can reach the abbey from the town on our Ilkley Riverside Walk which is about a 6 mile hike along the Wharfe.
The climb to Beamsley Beacon starts from the nearby village of Beamsley. It's a good climb giving splendid views of the area.
You could also head to the south west and visit Chelker Reservoir.


BD23 6EX - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

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Bolton Abbey OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Bolton Abbey Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

The Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway is a great way to see the lovely scenery surrounding the abbey. You can pick up the heritage railway just to the south of the abbey at Bolton Abbey Station. Here you can enjoy a ride on a vintage steam locomotive to Embsay where you can visit Embsay Reservoir. The rolling stock on the line consists of 20 ex-industrial locomotives, the oldest of which was built in 1908, three diesel-multiple units, and ten other diesel locomotives. Embsaystation dates back to 1888 and has good facilities with a cafe, gift shop, bookshop and picnic tables. It's a nice place to stroll around and watch the trains come in and go out.
Embsay railway station looking towards Bolton Abbey station Embsay Steam Railway - - 1177168
Pictured above left Embsay railway station looking towards Bolton Abbey station. On the right part of the track between Embsay and Bolton Abbey with a siding to the left. This section was restored in the 1990s over 100 years after its initial opening as part of the line from Ilkley to Skipton.
Just to the north you can pick up the Barden Bridge to Bolton Abbey Walk via the Strid. It's a popular riverside walk starting from close to the 15th century Barden Tower. There's a car park here and the opportunity to pick up theLady Anne's Way long distance trail too.


Bolton Abbey - - 242134

Bolton Abbey. A view of the ruins with the hills in the background. Taken in late summer.

The Pantry, Bolton Abbey - - 444800

The Pantry, Bolton Abbey. With a classic old bicycle sitting outside.

Bolton Abbey - - 143742

Lake at the abbey

Footbridge over the River Wharfe at Bolton Abbey - - 624952

Footbridge over the River Wharfe at Bolton Abbey

Barden Tower - - 1773157

Barden Tower. A ruined tower just north of the abbey park. The 15th century tower can be reached by following a riverside footpath north from the main park.

Bolton Abbey, Bolton Hall - - 1863960

Bolton Abbey in the spring with lovely daffodils.

Bolton Abbey Station - - 2101743

The train Station with the classic old steam train coming into the platform.

Stepping Stones at Bolton Abbey - - 2376792

Stepping Stones. Families make their way across the popular stepping stones on a pleasant spring day.


GPS Files

GPX File

Bolton Abbey.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Bolton Abbey.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)